Stray From the Path are known for their Hardcore Punk sound, but their seventh studio album is their most mature and hard-hitting release yet, only paving way for further excellent future releases.

Anonymous kick-starts its aggressive assault on the senses with the ball-gripping ‘False Flag’. Taking you from the get-go, it attacks you with furious power and grips you, never letting you go. Furious Punk Metal inspired guitar riffs and face-smashing drumming is only filled together by the consistent, ever-present bass-lines that fill the track. Drew York provides you with some of the greatest Hardcore Punk vocals known to mankind. It’s one heck of an opener and the album only ever seems to get better. Moving into the second single from off the album, ‘Badge & A Bullet’ grips you with some intense stuff that just seems to pour out of the guitars and bass whilst the drums apparently just seem to get pounded. Not the fastest song on the album but filled with some great riffs and truly severe amounts of ass-kicking drumming, it is a brilliant track filled with Drew’s hard-hitting and aggressive vocal style. It also contains some great hooks that make the song
strangely catchy.

The album aggressively drives forward its fast and brutal onslaught with tracks ‘Radio’, ‘Black Friday’, ‘Tell Them I’m Not Home’ and the title track ‘Anonymous’. It feels like you’re taking a hammer to the face but yet you can’t help enjoy it as Williams provides a shed load of truly great Punk Metal riffs, filled by the ever-present bass-lines that Anthony just seems to pour. Not to forget Dan Bourke’s fast, furious beating of his drum kit as he spreads endless amounts of destruction throughout the album, making it seem so easy. And as for the vocals by Drew… they’re simply wow. Aggressive in his approach, Drew grips you from your private parts and pounds your face in with the astonishing force that his vocals provide. You can’t help but smile as he screams and shouts catchy hook after catchy hook, controversial line after controversial line directly into your face. Everything in this album is great and not one track can be considered for even being slightly weak. All of them powerful and dealing with strong lyrical subjects such as politics, freedom and friendship (may not seems strong but Drew makes sure that it is), you can’t argue with the power of the album.

Not to forget the great ending to the albums other single, ‘Landmines’, which leads into the final track (the album’s title track) of the album. Along with the great amount of power, aggression and force that the album portrays, it is apparent that a lot of thought has gone into the production of the album. Production is often over-looked when people listen to music but yet it is more important than the songs themselves. Seeming as production is about how the track/album is mixed and the audio quality of the tracks, it is highly important. Luckily, Anonymous doesn’t suffer from the bad production and is helped along with the great mix and quality of its tracks. With the production keeping the aggression in place and making everything so free-flowing and
consistent, it is time to mention the two guest vocal contributions on the album.

As mentioned before, there are two appearances on the album and they come from Jesse Barnett (Stick To Your Guns) and Jason Aalon Butler (letlive). Jesse is featured on the third track on the album, ‘Radio’ and Butler makes his appearance on the albums fourth track entitled ‘Scissor Hands’. The contributions on the album are easy to spot and help add a bloody good punch to the tracks. The appearances are something which people can enjoy and adds a little more to the album as a whole. It is safe to say then, that this album is downright bloody great.

Stray From the Path have crafted a Hardcore Punk Metal masterpiece here with Anonymous. Fast, aggressive, consistent, intense and gripping, it is an album that grabs you from the start and only intensifies as it progresses, letting go of its grip at the end but making sure that it still remains within your head. Featuring ground breaking drumming, intense and consistently aggressive guitars, supportive, ever-present bass-lines and ferocious, intense and head-crushing amounts of vocal power, Anonymous is an album rammed to the brim with awesomeness. This is like a modern day Rage Against the Machine album only more aggressive.

This is an album that feels like it is what Violent Delight could have done if they progressed with their career. Yet this is somehow more than just that too. This is more than just your usual modern day album. It is a downright statement on what our world has become that will grip you with every bass drum beat (which there is a lot of!) for months on end. It will make you think, it will make you want to rebel, it will even make you want to just destroy stuff and break everything within your sight. But yet in a good way. This is pure, relentless aggression and is the bans finest effort to date. This is an album that is as powerful as it is enjoyable.

This isn’t considered being just the one of the best albums so far this year because it IS the best album so far this year. It beats Black Sabbath, Asking Alexandria, Megadeth, DevilDriver and
Avenged Sevenfold by a pretty longshot. If you want something aggressive, something that has meaning and something that is downright bloody amazing to listen to, then pick this up. I must admit, it isn’t something everyone is going to enjoy but it is like that with every album. So be sure to check out one of the singles first (either ‘Landmines’ or ‘Badge & A Bullet’) but if you like what you hear then you must pick this up. If you like Punk, listen to this. If you like Hardcore, listen to  this. Screw it, if you just like Metal than give this a listen because it is guaranteed that you’ll like something about this. Astonishing, powerful and beautiful, all at once. The best album so far this year. Give it a try.


- Asa